LIBRARY OF CONGRESS.
Chap..-.. pyright No.
Shelt>„.Q. r 15
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
CHRIST BLESSING LITTLE CHILDREN
Beautiful Bible Stories
GEA\S TRO/n THE HOLY BOOK RESET TOR
Author of "The New Boy at the Burke School." "Happy Hours A. B. C.
Book," "dingles and Rhymes for All Times," and
Other Favorite Juveniles
WITH CHOICE ILLUSTRATIONS OE SACRED SCENES
W. B. CONKEY COMPANY
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1899,
BY W. B. CONKEY COMPANY,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
TWO COPIES RECEIVED.
Adam and Eve.
Cain and Abel.
The Tower of Babel.
Hagar and Ishmael.
Jacob and Esau.
Joseph, the Favorite Son.
Ruth and Naomi.
The Trials of Job.
The FiRSt King of Israel.
The Death of Absalom.
The Judgment of Solomon.
The Twelve Tribes.
John the Baptist.
The Infant Jesus.
The Boyhood of Jesus.
The Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus Calms the Tempest.
Raising the Daughter of Jairus.
Feeding the Multitudes.
" Lord, Help Me."
The Good Samaritan.
The Good Shepherd.
The Home that Jesus Loved.
The Lost Sheep.
The Prodigal Son.
Christ Blessing Little Children.
Christ is Risen.
~The Baptism of the Spirit.
The Apostle Paul.
List of Colored Illustrations.
The Infant Jesus.
David Watching the Sheep.
Moses in the Bulrushes.
Daniel in the Lions' Den.
The Prodigal Son.
The Good Samaritan.
Christ Blessing Little Children.
Beautiful Bible Stories I
ADAM AND EVE.
Eve, the first
people upon the
earth, were very
beautiful and per-
fectly pure and
lived in the lovely
garden of Eden,
that they needed
grew, and God
had given them
permission to eat
of all the fruits
and plants except
the fruit of one
tree in the center
of the garden. This tree He had forbidden them
to taste, saying that if they did they should die.
But finally Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempted
Eve to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. The ser-
pent told her that the fruit of the tree would give her
knowledge, and when Eve said that God had com-
manded them not to eat it, saying that if they
did they should die, Satan told her that it was
At last Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate
of the fruit; as soon as they had done this, how-
ever, they commenced to be unhappy, and nothing
seemed to them as it had before. They were no
longer innocent, and when they heard God speak-
ing to them, they were afraid to answer and tried
to hide from Him,
But no one can hide from God. Their sin was
at once known to Him, and in punishment for it
they were sent out from the beautiful garden and
God placed angels called Cherubim at the en-
trance, with flaming swords in their hands, which
turned in every direction, so that Adam and Eve
could not go back again.
He made the serpent creep upon the earth, hated
by everybody, and told Adam that he must hence-
forth work to earn his food, and that trouble and
sorrow should come both to himself and his wife.
He gave them a comforting promise, however,
that at last One should come into the world to
conquer sin. In this promise He referred to the
coming of Christ; but Adam and Eve were never
again as happy as they had been before their dis-
CAIN AND ABEL.
The first little children upon the earth were
Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain
was the elder of the two boys, and he became a
tiller of the soil, or farmer, like his father, Adam.
But Abel was a shepherd.
Abel had a gentle nature and loved God; he
also had great faith; while, although Cain also
worshipped God, he was not as sincere as his
brother, and so God was not as well pleased with
One day Abel killed a lamb and offered it up
to God as a sacrifice, and at the same time Cain
brought an offering of fruit. But God saw that
Abel worshipped Him truly, while Cain did not,
and He would not accept Cain's offering. This
made Cain very angry; but God said to him, "Why
art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance
fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be
accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth
at the door."
But Cain continued to be angry, and at last,
when he was talking with Abel in the field, he lost
control of himself entirely and killed his brother.
Afterward, when the Lord asked him where Abel
was, he answered, "I know not; am I my brother's
But God knew what Cain had done, and told
him that because of this sin he should be a fugitive
and a vagabond; that is, that he should wander
about without any home, and that he should be
disliked by all men.
Cain cried out that his punishment was more
than he could bear; but it was only just, for he
was a murderer. So he went away from his
pleasant home and his father and mother, and
traveled to the land of Nod, which was east of
Eden. There he married, and sons were born to
him; but because of his great wickedness, his life
was never a happy one.
The world had grown very wicked indeed since
the time of Adam and Eve, and the people were
getting worse and worse instead of better, so God
saw that He must destroy them, or all would in
time become bad.
There was one good man, however, named
Noah, and God wished to spare him. So He told
Noah that He
would bring a
great flood upon
the earth and
drown all the
but that Noah
must build an
ark in which he
and his family
This ark was to
be a large, house-like boat, or ship, and God told
His faithful servant just how to make it.
At last all was ready, and God told Noah to
take into the ark beasts and fowls of the air and
creeping things of every kind, each one with its
mate; also enough food to last for a long time, be-
cause the flood would continue forty days and forty
nights without ceasing, and the earth would be
covered with water.
Noah did in everything as God had commanded,
and when he himself and his wife, his three sons
and their wives, and all the creatures which were
to be taken into the ark, were safely inside, the
At the end of the forty days the rain ceased, and
Noah opened the window of the ark and sent out a
raven to see if the earth had appeared above the
waters. The raven did not come back, so Noah
was sure that it had found some place to light upon
and something to eat.
He sent forth a dove, also, which returned to the
ark. Then he waited a number of days, and sent
forth the dove again.; this time it returned with an
olive leaf in its mouth. After a few more days he sent
the dove out again, and this time it did not return;
so Noah knew that the waters were going down.
Later, Noah removed the covering from the
ark, and looking out, found that the earth was dry.
So he went out of the ark with all his family and
the creatures that were with him, and he built an
altar and worshipped God.
And the Lord was pleased with Noah and blessed
him and his sons, and promised that He would never
again bring a flood
upon the earth to z*,-^
destroy all the peo-
ple as He had done
before ; and in token
of this promise He
placed the rainbow
in the sky after the
THE TOWER OF BABEL.
The sons of Noah were named Shem, Ham and
Japheth. These sons in turn became the fathers of
children so that the descendants of Noah were very
One of these descendants, named Nimrod, was
a mighty hunter and a man of power and authority
in the land, and it has even been said that the peo-
ple worshiped him as a god.
In those days men liked to build high towers
reaching away up toward the heavens. Perhaps
they were afraid of another flood, and perhaps they
simply wished to show what they could do; but
however that may be, ruins of towers can still be
seen in various parts of the world, one of the most
noted of which is that of the "Tower of Nimrod."
It is forty feet high and stands on the top of a hill
near the River Euphrates in Asia.
In the time of Nimrod, the people said, "Let
us build us a city and a tower, whose top may
reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name,
lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the
whole earth." So they began to build the tower,
and they made it very strong indeed, and kept rais-
ing it higher and higher toward the heavens, think-
ing, Jewish tradition, or story, tells us, that they
would have a shelter in which they would be per-
fectly safe from any flood which might come, or
any fire. There were some of the people also who
wished to use the tower as a temple for the idols
which they worshiped. Six hundred thousand
men worked upon this wonderful tower, so the
story goes on to say, and they kept up the work
until the tower rose to a height of seventy miles,
so that, toward the last, it took a year to get mate-
rials for the work up to the top where the laborers
were employed. Of course this story is exagge-
rated, but without doubt the tower rose to a great
height and was a wonderful piece of work.
God was not pleased with what the people were
doing, however, because they thought themselves
so great and powerful that they had no need of Him,
and so He put an end to their bold plans.
Up to this time all the people of the world had
spoken the same language ; but now, when they were
working upon this wonderful tower, they com-
menced to talk in different tongues so that they
could not understand each other, and there was
great confusion. Owing to this, they were obliged
to give up the building of the tower, and they sep-
arated themselves into groups, or divisions, each
division speaking the same language, and then they
spread out over the world, forming the various
The tower was called the Tower of Babel be-
cause of the babel, or confusion, of tongues which
had taken place there, and it was left unfinished to
be a monument of God's power and man's weak-
ness without Him.
These men were skillful in building, else they
never could have gone as far as they did in their
stupendous work, and God was willing that they
should exercise their skill, as He is willing that
people shall do now ; but when they thought them-
selves equal to Him, they learned how weak they
really were in comparison. The story teaches the
great lesson of dependence upon God and submis-
sion to His will and His laws.
HAGAR AND ISHMAEL.
The story of Hagar and Ishmael is one of the
strongest in the Old Testament, for it shows the
power of a mother's love and what a true mother
can endure for her child; while it also teaches that
God can care for His faithful people under all cir-
that He is able to
change a seeming
misfortune into a
very great blessing.
Ishmael was the
son of Hagar and
he was still a little
boy, God com-
to send him away
with his mother,
because Isaac, the
son of Sarah and
Abraham, was the
rightful heir to all
of his father's prop-
erty and was the "true son of promise." Abraham
did not wish to send either Hagar or Ishmael away;
but when he believed it to be God's will he did so,
giving them some provisions to take with them
and saying good-bye to them very sorrowfully.
Hagar was sad and lonely and very anxious
when she went out into the wilderness with her
little boy; but she journeyed on with him until he
grew weak and faint, and the water which they
had brought was all gone. Then when he cried
for more and there was none to give him, she laid
him upon the ground in the shade of a bush and
went away by herself where she could sit down
and hide her face and weep, for she was almost
discouraged. She thought her dear little boy was
going to die and that she would be left all alone in
But finally God sent comfort to her, and she
believed that her son would live and that he would
be a great man in the future. So she rose again
with hope in her heart and went to search for
water, which she soon found, cool and refreshing.
She filled the bottle joyfully and took it to the boy,
who drank it eagerly and was refreshed and able
to go on again.
God took care of both Hagar and Ishmael. The
boy grew to be a man, and, living in the wilderness
as he did, he became a great hunter and was
skilled in all things pertaining to his wild life.
Hagar was born in Egypt, and she wished her
son to marry a woman from that land; so she
found a wife for him among the Egyptian women,
and God's promise to her was fulfilled, for her son
became the head, or chief man, of a nation.
If Ishmael had staid with his father and Isaac,
his brother, the two boys would, perhaps, have
quarreled over their inheritance, and Abraham
would not have known how to divide it between
them so that both would be satisfied; in any case
they could not both have been the head of the tribe,
or nation, after the death of their father.
God saw all this, and because He loved Ishmael
as well as Isaac, He sent him forth to be the foun-
der .of another tribe.
The story teaches this lesson, also, that although
a child may be cast off without any rightful inherit-
ance or even a family name, if he is brave and true
and leads a noble life, the Lord can build up a
name and an inheritance for hiirij and make him
great and honored.
When Ishmael started out into the wilderness
with his mother, it did not seem possible that he
would ever become a great man, and Hagar must
have had wonderful faith in God to trust Him
through all her trial; but she did trust Him, and
her faith was rewarded, as true faith always will be.
father of Isaac, was
called "The Friend
of God," because he
loved the Lord so
truly, and obeyed
Him in all things
Abraham, with his
family, lived in the
land of Canaan; but
he had not always
lived there. He had
' / come from a country
where they wor-
shiped idols, and often he had seen human beings
offered up to these idols as sacrifices.
As has been said, he loved God very truly and
had perfect faith in Him; but a great trial of his
faith was coming. God told him to take his son
— his only son, Isaac, whom he loved better than
his own life — and to go away to a distant moun-
tain and there offer him up as a burnt offering.
Of course Abraham was almost heart-broken
when he received this command, but he never
thought of disobeying it. So he took Isaac and
two of his young men, and journeyed toward the
place which God had pointed out to him.
When they came in sight of the place, Abraham
bade the two young men remain behind, while he
went forward with Isaac to worship. Abraham
gathered the wood for the burnt offering and laid
it upon Isaac's shoulders, and with his knife in
one hand and a little vessel containing fire in the
other, he went forward with his son.
As they went along, Isaac said : " Behold the
fire and the wood ; but where is the lamb for a
Abraham answered: " My son, God "will provide
Himself a lamb for a burnt offering."
When they came to the place where the sacri-
fice was to be offered, Abraham built an altar
there ; then he placed the wood upon it, bound
Isaac, who made no resistance, and laid him upon
the altar, and was about to kill his son, when an
angel appeared to him, and, calling him by name,
forbade him to go on, saying that God had told
him to sacrifice Isaac only to test his faith.
Then Abraham saw a ram caught by the horns
in a thicket near, and he took the ram and offered
it up instead of his son, and they rejoiced together
and gave thanks.
When Isaac was older, Abraham was anxious
that he should have a wife from among his own
people, so he sent his chief servant back to the
land from which he had come, to find a wife for
The servant started with his camels and attend-
ants, and also with rich presents, to be given to the
woman who should be chosen and to her family,
and he prayed that God would guide him.
The Lord heard his prayer. He met the beau-
tiful Rebekah at a well where she had come to
draw water, and when he asked her to give him a
drink, she at once did as he requested, and also
offered to draw water for his camels. This was
the sign by which the faithful servant was to know
the maiden whom he should choose for his mas-
ter's wife, and when the marriage was arranged
with her family, Rebekah went to the land of
Canaan and became the wife of Isaac, who loved
her very tenderly.
JACOB AND ESAU
Sf Jacob and Esau were twin
brothers, sons of Isaac and
Rebekah. Esau was the
dearer to his father; but
Rebekah loved Jacob
3$, more, and she wished her
favorite son to have the
^ birthright, or larger por-
tion of the property,
which really belonged to
Esau because he was a little
One day Esau came in from
hunting, very tired and hungry,
and sold his birthright to Jacob for a kind of stew
Afterward, when Isaac had grown very old, he
sent Esau one day to get some of his favorite meat,
saying that when he returned he should have his
But Rebekah heard this and determined that
Jacob should have the blessing instead. So she
prepared meat, then dressed Jacob in some of his
brother's clothing, covering his hands and neck
with the skin of the kids, and sent him to his father;
and Isaac blessed him, for his sight was dim, and
he thought it was Esau.
When the elder brother returned, he was
very angry with Jacob, and Isaac was deeply
grieved to think he had been deceived; but he
blessed Esau as well, who became prosperous and
had large possessions and great power.
After this Jacob went to his mother's people,
where he met Rachel, whom he loved very dearly.
He told Laban, her father, that he would serve him
faithfully seven years if Rachel
might be his wife, and Laban con-
sented to this; at the end of the
seven years, however, he told
Jacob that he must first marry
Leah, as she was the older, but
if he would serve another seven
years he might have Rachel
So Jacob served another
seven years for Rachel, and
then they were married. •
Later Esau and Jacob
met and were very glad to
see each other, for Jacob
had repented of his sin, and
God had forgiven him ; while
Esau forgave him also.
DAVID WATCHING THE SHEEP
JOSEPH, THE FAVORITE SON.
The story of Joseph is one which children
always love, and which is full of interest for older
people as well ; for it is as wonderful as a fairy
tale, and yet deals with the history and biography
^V^ of ancient times.
son of Jacob,
loved by his
he also loved very
much in return.
But Joseph's older
brothers were jealous of
him because he was such
a favorite, and because
their father had given
him a beautiful coat of many colors.
Joseph helped care for the flocks, and sometimes
he had strange dreams, which he told to his brothers.
This was one of them : " Behold," he said, " we were
binding sheaves in the field ; and lo, my sheaf arose,
and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves
stood round about and made obeisance to my sheaf."
This made the brothers more jealous than ever,
for they thought that his dream
meant that he would rule over
them, and they hated him
They planned to put
him out of the way, and
soon had an opportunity
to sell him to a party of
strangers, who carried him /"~V
^ftX awa y to Egypt and
*•—•■» sold him there.
Pharaoh, King of
some strange dreams,
which Joseph inter-
preted to mean seven
years of plenty, fol-
lowed by seven years
of famine, and he
advised the king to
provide for those
years of famine.
Pharaoh was pleased
with this, and appointed Joseph
over the land.
In due time
plenty; and when the crops
of Jacob and his people
failed, and Joseph's brothers
came down to Egypt to
buy food, they found that
the boy whom they had sold
was a great ruler there.
They were frightened, but
I he forgave them. He kept
«- J_ C Benjamin, his youngest
brother, with him, and sent
for his father, inviting him to make his home in the
land of Egypt, and at last there was a very joyful
Jacob and his family lived in their new home
for many years, and Jacob blessed the children of
Joseph and called them his own sons. When he
died, they took him to the land of Canaan to be
buried, as he had requested. But Joseph and his
brethren continued to dwell in the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh, the King of
Egypt, had made a law
that every boy baby of
the Hebrew race should
be killed, and there was
great sorrow because
of it. But when
Moses was born, his
aged to hide
<J\ him for three
W&M months ; then
she made a
cradle, or lit-
tle ark, and
into it, car-
ried him down to a river and hid the cradle among
the reeds there.
Soon after this, Pharaoh's daughter came with
her maidens to the river-side, and when she saw
the beautiful child, she sent one of her maidens to
brinor it to her.
She took the little boy to the palace and named
him Moses, and he became a great man among
the Egyptians; he knew, however, that he belonged
to the Hebrew race, and when he saw how badly
his own people were treated, he tried to help them ;
but at last he was obliged to leave Egypt, and be-
came a shepherd, taking care of the flocks of a
priest called Jethro. He also married Jethro's
After a time, God spoke to Moses out of a
burning bush, and told him that he must go and
rescue his people from the cruel Egyptians. Moses
thought he could not do this ; but God promised to
help him, and to show him what he would be able
to do with that help, God turned the rod which
Moses carried into a serpent. Then God told
Moses to pick the serpent up by the tail, and as he
did so, it became a rod again. He showed him
another sign, also ; but Moses was still afraid, be-
cause he could not talk well and thought that
Pharaoh would not listen to him. .So God told
him to take his brother Aaron for a spokesman.
Moses and Aaron, therefore, went into Egypt,
where they called together the chief men among
their own people, the Hebrews, or Israelites, and
told them what God had commanded. Moses also
did the miracles which God had given him power to
do, and the people believed that God had sent him.
After this Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh,
and told him that it was the Lord's command that
he should let the Israelites go. Pharaoh knew
nothing about God, and became very angry, saying
that Moses and Aaron kept the people from their
work by telling them such things; and he treated
the poor Israelites worse than before.
But Moses had faith in God; so he was able to
perform before the king the wonderful things that
he had done before his own people; still, Pharaoh
would not let the children of Israel go.
turned the waters of
the rivers into blood;
and after that he "
caused large num-
bers of frogs to run
over the land and
He also brought
locusts and other
insects to be a pest
to the people, and
caused many of the
useful animals which
to the Egyptians to
sick and die, doing all
these wonders with the rod
which God had given him. But Pharaoh would
not listen to him.
Then God commanded Moses again, and he
brought other plagues upon the Egyptians; but
Pharaoh would not give up.
At last, however, God sent a still more terrible
trouble; for the first-born of every Egyptian family,
and even the first-born among their flocks, died;
although the Israelites, who were constantly pray-
ing to the Lord and making sacrifices, were spared,
as they had been all the time.
Then Pharaoh was frightened into obeying God,
and he let the Israelites go; so they started at once
for the land of Ganaan, and the Lord guided them
by a cloud, which at night looked like a pillar of fire.
When the Israelites had reached the Red Sea,
they found that Pharaoh was pursuing them with
a large army. But God commanded Moses to
stretch forth his rod over the. sea; he did so, and
the waters parted, making a high wall upon either
side, so that the children of Israel passed through
and reached the other side in safety. Pharaoh and
his hosts followed and were all drowned.
When the children of Israel saw that they were
safe, they sang a beautiful song of praise to God,
and then they went on their way again.
After they had traveled for some time, they
were in need of bread and meat, and they com-
plained about Moses because he had brought them
to a land where they had not enough to eat. But
God sent them plenty of quails and also a sub-
stance which they could use for bread. Later,
when they wanted water, the Lord commanded
Moses, and he struck a rock with his rod, and
pure water poured out of it, so that the thirsty
people and their animals had all that they
In this way God took care of them as they
journeyed through the new and strange country
toward the promised land, and Moses became
the law-giver of the Israelites, receiving his com-
mandments from God.
As a child Sam-
son was set apart
to the service of
the Lord, who
' gave him great
courage, so that
he did many
One day he
met a lion, and when
the beast roared at him,
'^S. he caught and
killed it as
though it had been a very small animal.
Later, the Philistines, who were enemies of the
Israelites, did Samson a great wrong, and he wished
to punish them ; so he caught three hundred foxes
and tied fire-brands to their tails ; then he turned
them loose in the corn-fields of the Philistines and
burned up all their corn, also their vineyards and
olives. At another time he killed a thousand of
them with the jaw-bone of an ass.
Later still, Samson did a very wonderful thing.
He had gone to a place called Gaza, and when
the people knew he was there, they shut the gate
of the city so that he could not get away ; for they
meant to kill him. But Samson arose in the
night and took down the heavy doors of the gate,
carrying them off upon his back.
After Samson had lost his wife, he loved a
woman named Delilah, and she pretended to love
him; but she was a very wicked woman and
wanted to give him up to
She tried to find out __
what gave Samson
his great strength,
but for a long time
he would not tell
her. At last, how-
ever, he yielded to
her pleadings and
told her that his
hair had never been cut. %■
" If I be shorn," he said, * - „ ?£&£r T-
"then will my strength go from me, " : " - s
and I shall become weak, and be like other men."
Delilah told this to the Philistines, and they
came and cut off Samson's hair while he slept;
when he awoke, they took him prisoner and put
out his eyes, besides treating him cruelly in many
But after a time Sam-
son's hair began to grow
again, and his strength
came back, and one g?
day when they had /-/
taken him outside the JiJ/ti=-
'i I Hi
building to make sport JaJlLiI
for a great number of people,
he took hold of the pillars
between which he stood and
pulled them down, so that
the house fell upon him and
all the people who were
a ^ gathered
sands of them.
Samson was taken
back to his own country
to be buried in the
burying-place of his
father; for he had judged
Israel twenty , years, and
it was only right that this
honor should be shown
RUTH AND NAOMI.
The story of Ruth and Naomi is one of the
sweetest and most touching of all the Bible stories.
It shows the beauty of unselfish devotion and con-
stant love, and the happiness which they brought,
and teaches a lesson which is very helpful to us all.
A long time ago, in the days of the judges of
Israel, there was a
famine in the land
of Canaan, and a
man named Elim-
elech, whose home
was in Bethlehem,
went with his wife
Naomi and his two
sons to live in
After they had
been there a while
died, leaving her
with the two sons.
Then, by and by,
the sons married,
and their wives were very good to Naomi, and
loved her. But it was only ten years before both
of the sons died, and Naomi thought it was best
for her to go back to her old home in Canaan ; for
she had been told that there was plenty in the land
once more, and she wanted to see her own people
and the relatives of her husband who was dead.
So Naomi told her daughters-in-law to return to
their own homes, because she could not expect
them to be willing to leave everything for her sake.
"Go, each of you, to your mother's house," she
said; "the Lord deal kindly with you as ye have
dealt with the dead and with me." But they both
wept and clung to her, saying, "Surely we will
return with thee into thy land."
Naomi, however, thought they would be unhappy
if they left their own country, and she urged them
to stay there and let her go alone; so one of them
kissed her over and over again and promised to do
as she bade; but the other, who was named Ruth,
would not leave her.
"Entreat me not to leave thee," she pleaded,
"or to return from following after thee; for whither
thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will
lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God
my God ; where thou diest I will die, and there
will I be buried; the Lord do so to me and more,
also, if aught but death part thee and. me."
Then Naomi stopped urging her to return, and
they went together to Bethlehem, where the friends
of Naomi were very glad to welcome her and
greeted her in a very friendly manner, saying again
and again, "Is this Naomi?"
But she answered: "Call me not Naomi, but
call me Mara, for the Almighty hath dealt very
bitterly with me." She said this because Naomi
means "pleasant" and Mara means "bitter," and
the sorrowing widow felt that her life was a bitter
rather than a pleasant one, since she had been
bereaved of her husband and sons.
There lived in Bethlehem a* man named Boaz,
who was a relative of Naomi's husband, and who
was also very wealthy. He had a large farm, and
both men and
in his fields, and
as it was about
the beginning of
the barley har-
vest when the
two women came
these fields pre-
sented a busy
to do something
to help support Ij
herself and her
mother-in-law, so she begged Naomi to let her go
into the fields and glean after the reapers — that is,
to gather up the barley that was left after they had
made up the sheaves — and Naomi told her that
she might go.
Ruth happened to choose the field of Boaz to
work in, and when the wealthy man came into the
field and saw her, he said, "The Lord bless thee!"
but he did not know who she was.
As he went away he inquired of the head reaper
about the young woman, and afterward he said to
Ruth : " Go not to glean in another field, but keep
here close to my maidens." He also spoke to his
young men about her,' telling them to be kind and
courteous to her, and he bade her go and drink of
the water which they drew whenever she was
When Ruth wondered at his kindness and asked
him why he was so good to a stranger, he told her
that he had heard of her love for Naomi and her
unselfish devotion, and he said: "The Lord reward
thee, and a full recompense be given thee of the
Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art
come to trust." He invited her also to sit with
his reapers at meal-time, and he waited upon her
that she .might have enough to eat and drink.
When she had gone he commanded his young
men to let her glean among the sheaves and to
drop some handfuls purposely for her, and not to
find fault with her or reprove her.
So Ruth worked in the field all day, and then
beat out the barley which she had gleaned and
took it to the city to show Naomi, who was very
glad, indeed, and very thankful.
Naomi asked Ruth where she had gleaned, and
when she had heard the whole story, she told her
that Boaz was a near relative and that it was weil
for her to stay in his fields, as he had given her
permission to do, until the end of the harvest, So
Ruth kept close to the maidens who gleaned in
the fields of Boaz until the end of both the barley
and the wheat harvests.
Then one night when Boaz was to have a win-
nowing of barley, Naomi told Ruth to make herself
ready, putting on her best clothing, and to go to
the winnowing and the feast and to ask Boaz what
she should do.
The winnowing is the fanning out of the straws
from the kernels after the husks have been beaten
off. A great many people helped about the work,
and a feast was prepared for them.
Ruth did as Naomi had told her to do. When
she had informed Boaz that she was a near relative
he said, "Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daugh-
ter." Then he told her not to be afraid, but to
bring the long veil which she wore, and when she
had brought it he poured a large quantity of barley
into it. She carried this to the city and gave it to
her mother-in-law, telling her what Boaz had said,
and Naomi was comforted; for she knew that
Boaz would advise them wisely.
After this Boaz went to the city and consulted
with the chief men and those that were interested
in the welfare of Naomi and Ruth, and when he
found that it would be wronging no one, he told
the people that he was going to take Ruth for his
MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES
wife, and the people said, "We are witnesses."
So Boaz married Ruth ; but in her new position as
the wife of a very wealthy and influential man, this
noble woman did not forget her love for Naomi,
whom she still tenderly cared for. When a little
son came to bless the union, Naomi rejoiced, for
she felt almost as though it was her own little son,
and she named him Obed and delighted in taking
care of him.
When Obed became a man he married and had
a son named Jesse, who in turn became the father
of David, the great king of Israel. Jesus Him-
self was of the House of David, and so God's
promise to His chosen people was fulfilled.
THE TRIALS OF JOB.
The story of Job teaches how strong and patient
it is possible for any one to be who believes in the
goodness and justice of God and is willing to be
guided entirely by Him and to submit to His will
in all things.
Job was a very
good man, and a
man also of great
wealth and highly
respected by the
people who knew
him. He had a
pleasant home and
a large family, there
I being ten children
■ — seven sons and
while his large
flocks and herds of
and many servants
called him master. He was loved and honored
for his kind and noble life, and was looked up to
above all the men in the country where he lived.
Job did not abuse his power, as so many great
men do; he worshipped God and taught his
family to do so, and he gave thanks to the Lord
for all the blessings which had been given him.
But all these years Job's life had been prosper-
ous and easy; there had been no test of his faith
and strength, and sometimes it is necessary that
trouble should come to make people stronger.
God saw that it was necessary to send trouble
to Job in order that his character might be made
still more beautiful; so He permitted enemies to
rise up against him and to take away some of his
possessions. He also allowed a part of his flocks
and a number of his servants to be destroyed by
lightning, and what was the worst of all, He per-
mitted a great whirlwind to come and kill all the
sons and daughters of Job.
These were terrible trials, and Job was very
sorrowful when he found himself so afflicted. He
rent, or tore, his robe, as people did in those days
as a sign of mourning, and he threw himself upon
the ground, bowing before the Lord, and said, "I
came as a little child with nothing into this world,
and I shall go out of it taking nothing with me.
The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord." Was it not
wonderful that Job could have such faith and trust
in spite of his great sorrow?
But he was tried still more, for he was obliged
to suffer great physical pain as well as the mental
agony which he had endured. His body was
covered with boils so that he could not rest either
night or day; but still he would not complain.
His wife became impatient with him and thought
that God was treating him unfairly; but Job said,
"Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and
shall we not receive evil?" Was not that a wise
and noble answer?
In the midst of his sufferings three old friends
came to him and tried to comfort him; but when
they saw how he was afflicted, they thought he
must have sinned very wickedly or God would
not have punished him so severely. They wept
with him, however, and staid with him a long time
without saying anything. Then, when Job was
suffering so much that at last he could not keep
quiet, he commenced to complain. He wanted to
die and be out of his misery.
His three friends were shocked at this and began
to talk to him, telling him that he had not done as
he ought, or God would not have brought all this
suffering upon him. Of course this was very hard
to bear, for now Job had not only his former suffer-
ings to endure, but he was hurt as well because
his friends had turned against him. Yet he
answered them in a wise way, telling them that he
did not believe his trouble had been sent for a
punishment, because he had always tried to serve
God faithfully and to do His will.
But the three men kept on blaming him, until
Job told them that they were miserable comforters,
and that if they were suffering as he was he would
never think of treating them as they were treating
him. He said that he could bring up many things
against them, but he would not do it if they were
ill, he would comfort them instead and try to make
their lot a little easier.
Then Job cried out that God had delivered him
to wicked people; that he was given up to suffer-
ing; that his friends had turned from him, and
even his relatives had forsaken him. And he
called upon his friends to have pity upon him.
r '**2 ' ?<^ '^**-/f/t»c*r*rrrrrrr*9¥fr^
But in the midst of his distress hope came to
him again, and he cried out, "I know that my
Redeemer liveth." That should have made his
companions ashamed of what they had said against
him, for unless his faith in God had been very
great he could not have trusted through all his
When he complained after this because his pain
was so great, he was sorry and prayed to God to
forgive him, saying, "I know that Thou canst do
everything, and that no thought can be withholden
from Thee. Wherefore, I abhor myself in dust
And God was pleased with Job for his patience
and faith through all the trials that had been sent
upon him; and was displeased with the three false
friends, because they had not treated him as they
ought. But Job prayed for the men who had
been so cruel, and that proved the nobility of his
After a time God cured Job of all his diseases
and also restored his wealth, even giving him more
than he had ever had in his most prosperous days.
Then people gathered around him again, bringing
him presents and making much of him, for they
saw that the Lord was pleased with him.
And Job had seven sons and three daughters
born to him after his affliction; he also had larger
flocks than ever, and more servants, and he was
even happier in the later years of his life than
when he was younger. He lived to a very old
age, and God blessed him bountifully.
When Samuel was
born, Hannah, his mother,
sang a beautiful hymn of
praise to God, and as
soon as her son was old
enough, she took him to
live at the tabernacle, or
house where the priests
lived and where services
were held. There Sam-
uel studied with Eli, the
JL-high priest, and was taught
_to serve the Lord; for
Hannah had promised
that if God would send
^>-.'^ her a son, he should be
given to the service of the Lord all his days.
Samuel prayed to God and lived a very beauti-
ful life, and after the death of Eli, he became the
judge over Israel. He was only twenty years old
at this time, but the Lord was with him and told
him what to do, and he became not only a judge,
but a prophet also.
The people of Israel had displeased God by
worshiping idols. So Samuel called them together
and told them that if they would return to God
He would save them from the Philistines, who
were constantly troubling them.
They listened to the words of their prophet, and
fasted and prayed; then the Lord forgave them
and caused them to gain the victory over their
When Samuel had grown old, he made his two
sons judges over Israel, to help him in his work.
But the prophet's sons were not good men, and
they cared more about making money than they
did about judging Israel as they ought; so the
people came to Samuel, and asked him to give
them a king to rule over them.
Samuel did not wish to do this; he thought it
would not be as well for the people. But they
still cried out that they wanted a king, and finally
he anointed Saul to be king over them. Saul
however, and Sam-
uel told him that the
Lord would take his
kingdom away. He
also anointed David \
to be king- after Saul's V}\
died, the people;
mourned sincerely • f'
for him, because he
was a good man
and a great prophet
THE FIRST KING OF ISRAEL.
Saul was the son of a man who belonged to the
tribe of Benjamin. He was tall and handsome and
kingly-looking, and when Samuel had chosen him
to be King of Israel and had brought him before
the people, saying, "See ye him whom the Lord
hath chosen, that there is none like him among all
the people?" They were pleased and shouted,
"God save the king!"
Then Samuel wrote out the laws of the kingdom
in a book which was to be very carefully guarded,
and after that he sent the people away to their own
homes. Saul also went home, a band of faithful
men going with him. But there were some who
were not pleased with the new king.
It was not long before the Ammonites, who
were enemies of the Israelites, came up to fight
against one of their cities, and Saul gathered a great
army and defeated them. Then there was rejoicing
in the kingdom, and Samuel told the people that
although they had done wrong in demanding a king,
yet if they served God faithfully, He would care
for them ; but if they were wicked, they and their
king should be destroyed.
The Philistines were very powerful enemies of
the Israelites, who had been treated as their serv-
ants and were not allowed to have weapons such as
the Philistines had. Saul, however, raised an army
to go against these mighty enemies, and made his
son Jonathan captain over a part of the army, while
he himself led the remainder. Then Jonathan
gained an important victory, and the Philistines,
although they were so powerful, fled before the
armies of Saul, because God was on his side.
But Saul disobeyed the Lord, who had helped
him so wonderfully, and the words of Samuel the
prophet came true, for at last the king was destroyed
and his kingdom was given to another.
There is a great contrast between the characters
of Samuel and Saul. Samuel was obedient to God
in all things; Saul wanted his own way, even after
God had shown him such great favor as to make
him king of Israel.
His reign might have been a wonderful one had he
done right. He was handsome, brave, strong, and
generous, and well liked by the most of his people.
It is true that the children of Israel had displeased
God in demanding a king against the judgment of
Samuel, the prophet of the Lord ; but this would
have been forgiven, and Saul's reign would have
been blessed if only he had proved himself worthy.
Instead of that he grew to be very unworthy, and
the punishment of his sin came surely, as it always
does, sooner or later, to all who disobey God.
David, the son of Jesse.
as a beautiful boy, who
could charm bv his
But he was to be
more than a '-sweet
singer."' for Samuel,
the prophet of the Lord,
declared that he should
be King of Israel, and
poured the sacred oil
upon his head.
Saul, who was then the
King of Israel, had spells
of insanity, and David
was sent for to try and
calm him bv his music.
In this he was so success-
ful that after a time the king seemed to be entirely
cured ; so David returned to his home, and staid
there quietly until his father sent him to the camp
of the Israelites, with food for his brothers.
He lound Saul's armv in sreat commotion, be-
cause Goliath, a mighty warrior of the Philistines.
had come out before both armies and had offered
to fight any man who should be sent against him.
Goliath had a cap of brass on his head, and his
body was well protected with a covering ol iron
and brass, while he carried a monstrous spear and
sword, and a heavy shield. As he came before
the two camps, he cried out : " I defy the armies of
Israel this day ; give me a man, that we may fight
together ! "
When David came up and heard the story, he
said: "Who is this Philistine, that he should defy
the armies of the living God?" And David
offered to go forth against Goliath.
So he went out in his shepherd's dress, with
only his staff and sling; and Goliath, who was very
angry at this, cried out: "Am I a dog, that thou
comest against me with a staff?" Then he began
to make fun of David. But David answered:
"Thou comest against me with a sword and a
shield ; but I come against thee trusting in the
Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, whom thou hast
Then, as Goliath came nearer, David took a
stone from the bag at his side, and putting it into
his sling, he took good aim, and it struck Goliath
in the middle of the forehead and stunned him.
As the giant fell, David ran up to him, and taking
the mighty sword, cut off his head with it.
This act of David's brought a great victory to
Saul's army, and the king was delighted with his
courage ; while Jonathan, Saul's eldest son, loved
the boy from that time, and they became like
brothers. David also married the daughter of
Saul, and was placed over his men of war.
But when all the people praised David, and
Saul knew how much they loved him, he grew
jealous, and David was obliged to fly for his life
and hide himself from the king. During these
wanderings, he wrote some of his most beautiful
Saul, however, was finally killed, and at last
David became king. He ruled Israel for nearly
forty years, making it a great and powerful nation ;
and when he died he was buried at Jerusalem,
which was called "The City of David," because
he had caused it to be taken from the enemy.
THE DEATH OF ABSALOM.
Absalom was the son of David, King of Israel,
and his father loved him very dearly. But Absa-
lom killed one of his brothers who had committed
a great crime, and then he hurried away from his
home at Jerusalem and did not return for three
years, because he feared for his own life.
After the three years, however, David sent
word to him that he mi^ht come back and live in
his own house, but that he must not visit the king;
for he felt that it was his duty to punish Absalom,
even though he still loved him.
So Absalom returned, and as soon as he could
he sent a messenger to his father, begging that he
might be allowed to see him, and saying that if the
king found him evil, then he was ready to forfeit
his own life.
When David heard this he sent for his son, and
Absalom came and bowed to the ground before
him; and David kissed him and forgave him.
Absalom was very beautiful indeed, with a
strong and noble figure and a magnificent head of
hair, which he wore lo'ng, as was the custom in
those days, and everybody admired him; but he
was not a good man, for he wished to take his
father's kingdom away from him, that he himself
might be king.
He tried to win the hearts . of the people away
from David and to make them believe that they
were not treated justly; he told the men that if
only he were judge every one should be treated
fairly, and when they bowed down before him, he
took each one by the hand and kissed him. Then,
after he had won many hearts, he planned a re-
bellion, sending out spies and raising troops to
fight against David.
When the king heard all this and knew that
him with many
men, he left Je-
weeping as he
went, with his
and his feet bare,
and all that went
with him wept
also and had
their heads covered to show their sorrow, for that
was the custom in the time of David.
When David had reached the top of Mount
Olivet, he worshiped God and prayed to Him, and
he also sent back a messenger to find out what was
being done at Jerusalem. They learned that
Absalom was ready to fight against the king; so
David raised an army to go forth to meet the army
of Absalom, but he commanded his men to deal
gently with the undutiful son for the sake of the
father who loved him.
The two armies met in a great battle, and twenty
thousand of the soldiers of Absalom were killed.
Absalom's lone hair caught in the branches of a
tree as he was riding under it, and he could not
get away; so when David's men came up they
killed him, in spite of the king's words, they were
so angry with him, and putting his body into a pit,
they covered it with stones. Then they sent a
messenger to David, telling him that his son was
When David heard the news he wept and
mourned, crying, "O my son Absalom, my son,
my son Absalom! Would God I had died for
thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" And all the
people mourned with him, in spite of the great vic-
tory that had been won.
But after a time they grew tired of the mourning
and wished to see their king who had been spared
to them, and they thought he should care some-
thing for them as well as for the son who had been
so cruel; so David went out and sat in the gate,
and the people came there to see him and rejoiced
that he was safe, and for their sakes he tried to
control his sorrow.
THE JUDGMENT OF SOLOMON.
The reign of King Solomon is one of the most
remarkable in all the history of Israel, for Solomon
was a very wonderful man, and his fame spread
out over all the land, so that people came from great
distances to see him. The visit of the Queen of
H I ■ . \ I I Jl Sheba is particularly men-
- u ~^ — !l ™ tioned in the Bible.
Solomon was the
son of King David,
and when his father
died, he became
King of Israel, al-
though he was only
a boy at that time.
Now, to be a king
requires great wis-
dom and judgment;
but Solomon trusted
in God, so God
helped him and gave
him wisdom and
he asked for them. God also gave him riches and
honor and long life, so that there was never another
king like King Solomon.
This great man ruled not only over Israel, but
over other nations as well; for David, his father,
had conquered many people. These people brought
presents of great value to the king, and Solomon's
wealth constantly increased, while his wisdom was
talked about everywhere.
Very early in his reign, Solomon had won the
confidence of his people by the wise manner in
which he had settled a dispute between two women
who both claimed the same child.
It was impossible to tell which was the mother,
so Kine Solomon commanded that a sword be
brought and that the living child be cut in two, in
order that half could be given to each of the women
who claimed him.
But the mother of the child cried out to the
king not to have her baby killed, saying that the
other woman might keep him if only his life could
be spared; while the woman whose child was
really dead was willing that the boy should be
killed. So King Solomon knew at once that the
infant belonged to the woman who begged to have
his life spared, and he gave the child back to her.
When the people heard this, they believed that
God had put wisdom into the heart of the king,
and they obeyed him still more willingly ; while
Solomon went on judging them wisely, and advanc-
ing in knowledge and power. But later, he mar-
ried a great many heathen wives, who brought
idolatry with them, and this was not pleasing to
Solomon caused a magnificent temple to be
built at Jerusalem, and he had a number of beauti-
ful palaces for himself and his wives. His extrava-
gance, however, was not pleasing to the people;
so, in spite of his wisdom, the king was not loved
as well as when he first came into power.
King Solomon wrote many proverbs and psalms,
but a great many of his writings have been lost.
He was King of Israel for forty years and when
he died, was buried at Jerusalem.
THE TWELVE TRIBES.
At the death of Solomon the kingdom of Israel
was very great and powerful. It was divided into
twelve parts called tribes; but all of these tribes
were under the rule of King Solomon, and after
his death they were under his son, Rehoboam.
The people were displeased with the way they
had been treated during the later years of King
Solomon's reign, and they appealed to Rehoboam
to give them more liberty. Rehoboam asked the
advice of the old men who had been the friends of
his father, and also of the young men who had
been his own companions; but although the old
men advised him wisely to grant the petition of his
people and be kinder to them, he liked the advice
of the young men better, and answered according
to their wishes, saying to the people:
"If my father made your burdens heavy, I will
make them still heavier, and if he punished you
with whips, I will punish you with scorpions."
This cruel answer made the people angry, and
they said they would not be governed by Reho-
boam. Then ten of the twelve tribes of Israel
declared that they would have Jeroboam to rule
over them, and they rebelled against Rehoboam,
leaving him with only two tribes.
These ten tribes which rebelled against the
authority of Rehoboam, established a kingdom of
their own which was called the kingdom of Israel.
They became idolators and led a very troubled life
until finally they were captured by heathen nations
and were known as the "Lost tribes."
The two tribes which remained faithful to Reho-
boam were the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and
they kept the religion of their fathers. They were
carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon, who burned their temple; and for seventy
years they were forced to remain in Babylon.
Afterward, when a new king took the place of
Nebuchadnezzar, they were permitted to return to
their own land. At this time the name of the terri-
tory of Judah was changed to that of Judaea, and
the people were called Jews. Before this they had
been known as Hebrews. The Hebrews wor-
shiped the true God.
The father of
Joash was King
of Judah, and
when he died,
his mother, who
was a very
put her grandchildren to death,
so that she might be queen.
J But the sister of the kine hid
Joash, and for six years he was
under the care of the high
priest in the temple.
During this time the wicked
queen reigned over the land;
but at the end of the six years, the high priest
called together some of the captains of Israel, and
also the priests and Levites, and when they had
come, he showed them Joash, and said, "Behold
the king's son shall reign, as the Lord hath said
of the sons of David." And they all agreed that
Joash should be king.
Then Joash was anointed and crowned, and
they clapped their hands and cried, "God save the
They also brought the little King Joash out of
the temple and put him upon the throne. Joash
was only seven years old at this time, but he had
good men to advise him; so he repaired the tem-
ple, and his people destroyed their idols and wor-
Afterward the princes of Judah wished to go
back to the worship of idols, and Joash gave them
permission to do so.
But God punished both the king and his people
for their disobedience. When enemies came against
them in battle, God gave those enemies the victory
over the men of Judah, and Joash, who was very
ill, was killed in his bed by his own servants.
After the ten tribes of Israel had rebelled and
formed a kingdom of their own, the other two
tribes had a separate history, which it is very in-
teresting to study.
The people of the Kingdom of Judah had been
ruled over by many kings, some of them good, and
them all the
at last they
listen to the
nezzar, the King of Babylon, to conquer them.
Among the princes taken to Babylon, were four
who were especially strong in character and who
worshipped God with all their hearts and obeyed
all His commandments. At last Daniel, one of
these four princes, told the king the meaning of a
dream which the wise men of the kingdom had not
been able to interpret, and this pleased Nebuchad-
nezzar so much that he made the young prince a
great ruler; while he also gave high positions to
the other three.
Nebuchadnezzar had caused an image of gold
to be made and had commanded his people to fall
down and worship it. Daniel was probably in
some other part of the kingdom at this time, but his
three companions refused to obey the command
and were bound and cast into a furnace of fire.
The king was astonished, however, to see the young
men, free from their bonds, walking about in the
furnace with a fourth man, who "looked like the
Son of God."
The three princes came out of the furnace
unharmed, and the king made a decree, or law,
that no one should speak against their God;
and he gave them higher positions than they had
Daniel kept his power for many years; but he
had cruel enemies, and at last, in the reign of
Darius, these enemies grot the
king to make a law that any
one who offered a petition to
any god or man except the
king for thirty days, should
be cast into the den of
went on with his
worship of God,
these wicked men
reported it to the
king, who, although ft
he was muc h'vj
troubled, could not
refuse to have the
So Daniel was
thrown into the
den; but he was not
harmed, for God
would not permit the savage beasts to injure him,
and when he was taken out, the men who had
caused him to be so cruelly treated were themselves
thrown to the lions. After this King Darius sent
out a decree that all the people of his kingdom
should worship the God of Daniel.
The story of Esther is one of the most beautiful
in the Bible. It tells of a lovely orphan Jewess,
who had been adopted by her uncle, Mordecai,
and who became a queen.
One of the kind's best friends was a man named
Haman, whom every one flattered. Mordecai,
however, would not flatter Haman, because he
knew that the man was bad at heart; he had also
discovered a plot which the wicked Haman had
made to kill the king; so Haman feared and hated
him, and planned to destroy all the Jews, that he
might get rid of this man.
When the Jews learned that they were to be
destroyed, there was great mourning. Mordecai
clothed himself in sackcloth and prayed to God,
and he also sent word to Esther, asking her to go
to the king and plead for her people, although it
was a law in the land that if any one should go to
the king without being summoned, that person
should be put to death, unless the king held out to
him the golden scepter.
Esther, however, determined to make this at-
tempt to save her people, even if she lost her own
life ; so she fasted and prayed, and then went before
the king to make her petition.
King Ahasuerus was touched by her beauty
as she stood before him, and he at once held
out the golden scepter to her, saying, "What
wilt thou, Queen Esther, and what is thy re-
quest? It shall be even given thee to the half of
So Esther saved her people, and the wicked
Haman was hanged upon the very gallows which
he had caused to be made for Mordecai.
JOHN THE BAPTIST.
John the Baptist was the son of a priest named
Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth, who was a cousin
of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
John was born when his parents were very old.
It had been prophesied of him that he should be
filled with the Holy Ghost and should do a great
work in the world,
were all fulfilled, as
were the prophecies
about Jesus Him-
After John was
born, his father,
priest, foretold the
coming of Christ.
John lived in the
ing strong and pre-
paring himself for
his duties, until,
when he grew to be a man, he went forth as John
the Baptist, and the people flocked to hear him
He was of very nearly the same age as Jesus,
and he told the people of the Savior's coming,
urging them to repent of their sins, and many of
them were baptized by him in the River Jordan.
But he thought of his own work as small compared
with that which Jesus was to do, and said:
" I indeed baptize you with water unto repent- ■
ance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than
I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall
baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."
After a time Jesus came from Galilee to Jordan
to be baptized as the others were; but John felt
that this was not fitting, and he said: "I have need
to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?"
Jesus said to him: "Suffer it to be so now; for
thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness."
And then John baptized Him.
This shows us that Jesus believed in doing all
things in accordance with the laws and rules which
had already been given to the people, if those laws
were right and just.
When Jesus came out of the water after His
baptism, He prayed to God, and the place was full
of light; while the Spirit of the Heavenly Father
thrilled all hearts, so that they knew that Jesus
was the Son of God.
At this time our Lord was about thirty years of
age. He had left His home and the mother whom
He tenderly loved, to go forth and teach the people
wherever He felt that He was most needed. The
next few years of His life were crowded full of
work and suffering such as no human being can
fully understand, because it was the suffering of a
perfect nature, and His love for the world was a
greater love than any earthly heart is capable of
It was John the Baptist's nearness to God
which made him able to comprehend that Jesus
was more than human. John himself had lived so
close to the Heavenly Father that he had a clearer
vision than would have been his had he simply
gone to work as
other men did, or
studied the books
that they studied,
and it was his great
mission to prepare
the way for the Sav-
ior — to make the
people ready as far
as possible. This
was a grand and
John the Baptist
lived a noble life in
every way ; he was
not afraid to con-
demn sin, whether
the sinner was humble or powerful. He had
even told Herod the king and Herodias his wife
that they had done wrong. For this Herod
had him put in prison ; but Herodias was not
satisfied with his imprisonment, she wanted
him to be put to death. Herod, however, was
afraid to have him killed, because he feared the
When Herod's birthday came he made a great
feast, and the daughter of Herodias, who was
named Salome, came in and danced before the
king and his company, pleasing Herod so much
that he told her he would grant her whatever
request she made, even if she asked for the half of
Then Salome, who had been told by her mother
what to claim in fulfillment of the promise, asked
for the head of John the Baptist to be brought to
her upon a charger, or large platter.
So, because the king had sworn to give her any-
thing for which she asked, he caused John the
Baptist to be beheaded and his head to be brought
to Salome upon a charger. The young girl took
this dreadful present to her mother, and the wicked
Thus ended the life of the great preacher. His
disciples came and took his body from the prison
and buried it; but John's work was already done
and his noble destiny was fulfilled.
THE INFANT JESUS
THE INFANT JESUS.
The story of the
Christ-child is the
sweetest story in
the world, and pic-
tures of the infant
Savior with the
gentle Mary, His
mother, are full of
a grace and tender-
ness and purity that
appeal to all of us,
from the youngest
child to the most
On that night
when, in a lowly
manger at Bethle-
hem, Jesus was born, wondering shepherds came
from the hills near by to worship Him; for they
had seen a great light, and the angel of the Lord
had appeared to them, saying, " Fear not, for I
bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall
be to all people. For unto you is born this day
in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the
Lord." He told them where they should find
the holy child, and they made haste to seek Him
and to tell the wonderful news in the city.
Later, wise men from the East came with costly
gifts to worship Him ; they had seen His Star,
and had followed it, knowing that He was the
Messiah for whom they had been waiting.
But Herod, the wicked King of Judea, feared
the new-born King, and sought to destroy Him ; so
Joseph, who had been warned by an angel, took
the child and His mother and went into Egypt,
where they remained until the death of Herod.
Then they came back and lived in the city of Naz-
areth, and Jesus grew in wisdom, as well as in
stature, living a perfectly pure and spotless life,
because He was the Son of God.
THE BOYHOOD OF JESUS.
There are many beautiful stories of child-life,
but the story of the Boyhood of Jesus is the most
beautiful of all. It teaches a wonderful lesson
of obedience to parents and love and respect for
them, as well as of the charm of a pure and conse-
crated childhood, and the lesson is all the more
helpful because it is full of the human interest of
Although the boy
Jesus was gifted
with a wisdom far
beyond His years
— a wisdom which
was His because
He was the Son
of God, yet He
lived much as other
boys lived, doing
the tasks that were
given Him by His
parents and being
subject to them in
people around Him did not think very much about
what He said or did during those years. When
they saw Him helping Joseph, the carpenter, or
doing the little things which Mary, His mother,
bade Him do, He seemed much like other little
boys to them; they thought Him bright and pleas-
ing, and it maybe that there was something in His
looks and in His manner which puzzled them,
which set them to thinking of holy things in a
wondering way; but Mary was the only one who
dwelt upon the mystery of His life with a constant
prayerful questioning as to just what the meaning
of it was.
Mary treasured all His sayings in her heart and
believed that the time would come when everyone
would know that He was not simply an ordinary
child like those around Him.
After Joseph had brought his family back from
Egypt because, now that Herod was dead, it was
safe for them to come into their own country again,
they lived in the city of Nazareth, and so the
words of the old prophets were true, that Jesus,
the Savior of the World, should be a Nazarene, or
dweller in Nazareth.
Every year the Jews held a feast at Jerusalem
called the Feast of the Passover, in memory of the
time when God passed over, or spared, His chosen
people in Egypt, although He destroyed the first-
born of the Egyptians. When Jesus was twelve
years old He went to Jerusalem with Joseph and
Mary to attend this feast.
There were many of the relatives and friends of
the family there, and when they started home after
the feast, there was probably some confusion about
getting the company under way, for they traveled
in a train consisting of people on foot and mounted
upon donkeys, and they had, of course, some need-
ful provisions to take with them, together with the
things which they had brought for their comfort
upon the journey and during their stay in Jerusa-
lem; and as the parents of Jesus did not think of
His remaining behind, they neglected to look for
He was some-
where in the train ;
so, when they had
traveled for a day
on the return trip,
they were greatly
troubled to find that
He was missino-.
diately started back
wondering as they
went what could
have happened to
their boy and fear^
ful about it; but after three anxious days they
found Him in the temple talking with the learned
men there, listening to their wise words, and
asking questions which astonished everybody who
heard them, because they were full of an under-
standing of holy things that was not to be expected
of a boy. When His parents had found Him,
Mary said to Him, sorrowfully, "Son, why hast
Thou dealt thus with us? Thy father and I have
sought Thee sorrowing."
Then Jesus turned to her with sad and gentle
respect, and asked, "How is it that ye sought
Me? Wist ye not" — that is, "Do you not know"
— "that I must be about My Father's business?"
Perhaps in these words He tried to give them
an insight into the great meaning of His life; but
they were puzzled, although Mary dimly felt all
that He would have her understand. He did not
at this time, however, explain to them further re-
garding what was in His own heart. It may
be that He did not yet fully comprehend just
what He was to do. He had taken upon Him-
self the human nature which He was to raise to
something grander and nobler than human nature
had ever been before, and in becoming a little child
like other little children, perhaps it was God's plan
that He should not yet have the judgment of a
man in all things.
However that may have been, He went back
with His parents and obeyed them as before, for
the time had not come for Him to leave them and
begin His teaching, except as He taught by the
force of a beautiful example. But that example
formed a great part of the purpose for which He
was sent into the world, because one of the noblest
truths that He impressed upon humanity was the
duty of children to parents. His own life taught
this better than any sermon could have done, for
in all the history of the world we have no better
example of what a child's conduct should be
toward his parents. It is the more beautiful
because Jesus was not like other children, but,
having the wisdom of God in His heart, was far
better able to judge for Himself between right and
During all these years Jesus grew in stature as
well as in wisdom, and those around Him felt,
without understanding it, that in some way He
was different from the rest. The divinity of His
nature could not be hidden, even in those early
years, but it shone through all the small acts of
everyday life, making them beautiful; while every
one who knew Him was better and happier for
coming near such a noble nature.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
One day when a great multitude of people had
gathered to hear the words of Jesus, He went up on
the top of a mountain, and when His disciples had
joined Him there, and the people had also followed,
He taught them in one of the most wonderful ser-
mons that have ever been preached. He said:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall be
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the
"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after
righteousness, for they shall be filled.
" Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain
" Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall
" Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be
called the children of God.
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for
righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of
"Ye are the salt of the earth," He said to His
disciples; and He also called them the light of the
world and bade them let their light shine before
men that others might see their good works and
give the praise and glory to God.
How full of truth are all these utterances ! Every-
one should try to be a light to those around, that
is, always to set a good example that it may help
the people who are brought under its influence.
Jesus said that He had come to fulfill — that is, to
show the truth of all the good that had been taught
before in the world; that He had not come to tear
down, but to build up.
He spoke strongly against hypocrisy, saying
that His disciples must live far better lives than
those of the Scribes and Pharisees, a class of peo-
ple who were very desirous of being thought better
than those around them, although in their hearts
they were not good.
He also taught them the beauty of a forgiving
disposition, bidding them pray even for their ene-
mies. He bade them be charitable and always
thoughtful for the poor, to lay up treasures in
Heaven and not care too much about the good
things of this life, although Christ Himself always
liked to see people happy, and encouraged all
harmless enjoyment; but He held the life to come
so much higher than this life that He wanted all
people to try and prepare themselves for it, as
though this life were merely a school which, how-
ever happy or sad it might be, was fitting humanity
for a much longer period of existence beyond.
He bade them trust in God, who would care for
them as He cared for the lilies of the field and the
birds of the air, and He said that if they prayed
with faith and sincerity, God would answer their
prayers and give them all that they really needed
of the good things of earth.
The way to Heaven, He said, was a narrow way;
that is, wrong doing is so much easier than right
that the path of right often seems hard and bounded
by fields of wickedness on either side, which appear
very pleasant and tempting, so that one wishes to
step aside into them ; while the way of sin is broad
and smooth, and very easy to walk in, especially at
Jesus spoke very strongly against judging others
for their wrong doings, or the things which
appear wrong in them.
"Why beholdest thou the mote in thy brother's
eye?" He asked, "but considerest not the beam
that is in thine own eye?" That is, why should
a person see the wrong in another and fail to see
the evil in his own heart?
"Thou hypocrite," He said, "first cast out the
beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see
clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
Jesus taught many more great truths in this
wonderful sermon. All things which are needful
for a true and pure and holy life, He explained in
words of power and wisdom. It was such a grand
and complete view of what human life should be,
that never in all the history of the world before or
since has any plan so perfect been laid down for
the guidance of humanity.
The people were astonished when they heard
these noble words, and they looked upon Him with
awe because he spoke as one inspired and as
though He were conscious of an authority from
JESUS CALMS THE TEMPEST.
At one time when Jesus had entered a ship to
cross the Sea of Galilee with His disciples, a great
storm arose and the waves nearly covered the little
vessel, so that they were apparently in great danger.
The disciples were frightened, but Jesus was
asleep and the
storm did not
As it orrew worse
and worse and
the disciples be-
came more than
ever afraid, they
went back to
where Jesus lay
Him, crying out,
Thou not care
that we perish?"
said this, Jesus
arose and spoke
to the winds and the sea, saying, "Peace, be still!"
Then at once the wind went down and the sea be-
came calm, and the hearts of the men were filled
with wonder and still greater faith and awe, while
they said to one another, "What manner of man is
this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"
They had not yet learned that Jesus had power
over all things whenever He chose to exercise it.
At another time when the disciples had crossed
the Sea of Galilee, expecting that Jesus would join
them upon the other side, a storm came up, suddenly
as before, and the waters were quickly piled up in
great waves ; for the lake was narrow and deep, and
the storms usually burst in full fury with little
warning, doing much harm before there was a
chance to escape. At this time the disciples had
hard work to row the boat against the wind, and it
was tossed about here and there by the waves in
the middle of the sea until, toward morning, Jesus
went out toward it, walking upon the water.
When the disciples saw Him coming they
thought it was a spirit and were frightened; but
He spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer; it
is I, be not afraid."
Then Peter said: "Lord, if it be Thou, bid me
come unto Thee on the water."
Jesus said, "Come," and Peter stepped out upon
the water and started toward the Master ; but his
faith was not strong enough, and as he began to
sink he cried, "Lord, save me!"
Jesus stretched out His hand and held him up.
"O thou of little faith," He said, "wherefore didst
When Jesus came into the boat the storm ceased,
and soon they reached the shore. Then the dis-
ciples worshiped Him and said, "Of a truth Thou
art the Son of God."
RAISING THE DAUGHTER OF JAIRUS.
Jesus did so many wonderful works that if all
were told it would take whole books to describe
them. He performed miraculous cures, even heal-
ing people of that terrible and deadly disease,
leprosy, restoring sight to the blind, giving cripples
the power to
walk again, send-
ing the healthy,
back to sound
minds of the in-
sane, and grant-
ing health to the
souls as well as
l to the bodies of
those who be-
lieved in Him.
He also restored
to life some who had died before His healing
hands were laid upon them.
The raising of Lazarus was one of those great
miracles. Jesus also gave back to life again the
son of the poor widow of Nain, whom she had
[mourned as lost to her forever in this world, and
when one of the rulers of the synagogue, or Jewish
place of worship, came to Him and fell at His feet
saying, "My little daughter lieth at the point of
death; I pray Thee come and lay Thy hands on
her that she may be healed," Jesus started at once
to answer his prayer.
But so many crowded around Him as He went
that He was very much delayed, and before He
had reached the ruler's house a messenger came
and said to Jairus: "Thy daughter is dead; why
troublest thou the Master any further?"
But Jesus heard this and said to Jairus, " Be
not afraid, only believe."
When they came to the ruler's house they found
a great many people gathered there, mourning and
weeping; but Jesus said, "Weep not; she is not
dead, but sleepeth."
They laughed at Him for this, because they
thought He did not know what He was talking
about, and that there was no hope; but Jesus put
the crowd out, and taking with Him only the par-
ents of the child and Peter, James, and John, He
went into the room where the child was lying.
Then, taking her by the hand, He said, "Maid,
arise!" At once life came back, and the parents
rejoiced to clasp their daughter in their arms once
What a marvelous thing this was ! Probably
the father and mother could hardly realize their
great happiness when they saw, restored to health
again, the little girl who a moment before had lain
THE GOOD SAMARITAN
there still and cold in death. How they must
have loved the Man who had given them back
again this precious treasure!
But Christ gave to all His people even more
than the treasure of life. He gave them an im-
mortal hope and a promise that is dearer than the
promise of any earthly joy — the promise of a life
and love that shall be eternal.
FEEDING THE MULTITUDES.
Jesus had chosen twelve out of the many who
flocked about Him wishing to be His disciples,
and these twelve were called apostles. He sent
them forth to preach the gospel, giving them power
to cast out evil spirits and to heal diseases; and
when they were about to go forth upon their mis-
sion, He gave them instructions regarding what
they were to do, and warned them of the persecu-
tions which would be heaped upon them. He
also bade them be strong and not fear those who
had power to kill the body only, because the soul
was far more precious. So the apostles went out
into the cities and towns and preached the word of
God and carried blessing with them.
When they came back they told Jesus what
they had done, and they went with Him across the
sea of Galilee to a quiet spot where they could rest
and talk over their work.
But the people went around the sea, or lake,
to join them on the other side; and when Jesus
saw the crowds He was sorry for them, and taught
and healed them again as He had done so many
In the evening His disciples urged Him to send
the people away that they might buy food for them-
selves in the village; but Jesus said, "Give ye
them to eat."
The disciples thought this would be impossible.
"We have here but five loaves and two fishes,"
they told Him; and when He said, " Bring them
hither to Me," they obeyed Him with wonder.
Then Jesus commanded the people to sit down
in groups upon the green grass; and He took the
loaves and gave thanks to God for them, and
broke them into pieces, handing them to His dis-
ciples to give to the people.
He divided the fishes also in the same way, and
the disciples went about among the groups giving
each person a share, and everyone had enough to
eat; for although there were about five thousand
men there, besides women and children, the food
was sufficient for all. Even more than this, when
the multitude had eaten all that they wanted, the
disciples gathered up twelve baskets full of the
When the people saw this wonderful miracle
which Jesus had done, they wished to make Him
king at once, for they thought He was the Prom-
ised One for whom they had been so long waiting,
and they did not know that the kingdom of Christ
was not to be an earthly kingdom.
But Jesus would not allow them to make Him
king, and He left them and went up on the top of
a mountain alone.
On another occasion when a great crowd had
gathered to hear Him and had been for a long
time without food, He called His disciples to Him
and told them that He felt very sorry for the peo-
ple because they had been fasting three days, and
He could not send them away so weak and hungry
for fear they would faint before they could reach
But His disciples said they did not know where
they could get food for so many, as they were in
Jesus asked them how many loaves of bread they
had, and they told Him seven, and also a few
small fishes. .
Then Jesus bade the people sit down on the
ground around Him, and He took the seven loaves
and the fishes and offered thanks to God; after-
wards, He broke the loaves into pieces as He had
done before and gave them, with the fishes, to His
disciples, and the disciples distributed them among
the people. As they gave out the food it continued
to increase wonderfully, so that all the people were
fed; and even after that there was food enough left
so that they took up seven baskets full, although
about four thousand men, with many women and
children, had eaten.
These miracles show not only the power of our
Lord, but His tenderness and thoughtfulness for
those around Him in the everyday affairs of life.
He not only cared for the souls of His people, but
for their physical comfort as well; for His heart
was ever open to the cry of human need.
One of the first acts by which He manifested
His power to the men who afterwards became His
disciples, was an act of helpfulness.
He saw two ships by the Lake of Gennesaret
with the fishermen near by washing their nets, and
going aboard one of the ships, which belonged to
Simon Peter, He asked him to put out a little way
from land; then, when His request had been com-
plied with, He taught the people from the ship.
After He had finished His teaching, He said to
Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down
your nets for a draught." Simon told Him that
they had worked all night and had caught no fish,
but that they would do as He bade them.
And when they had done so, the net was filled
so that it broke, and they had to call to their part-
ners in the other ship to come and help them; and
both ships were filled. Then Peter and James
and John left all to follow Jesus.
LORD, HELP ME."
Jesus led such
1|£?r life, and was
ing others, yet
thing that He
did and who
%y hate Him in
^ spite of His
even, who should have loved Him because they
were His own people, were very unkind to Him,
and tried to make Him unhappy ; so that after
a while Jesus went away from them and began to
teach the Gentiles, who knew very little of God,
although these people had heard of the wonderful
things that Jesus had done, and many of them
believed in Him and loved Him.
One day, a woman of the Gentiles came to our
Lord and begged Him to help her daughter, who
was very ill. At first He did not answer, and
His disciples begged Him to send the woman
away. Then He said to them, "I am not sent
but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel," for
He wanted them to understand that He had come
into the world to save all who believed in Him.
When the woman heard His words, she came
nearer, and worshipped Him, crying out, "Lord,
But Jesus said : " It is not meet to take the
children's bread and cast it to the dogs." He
meant by this that the Gentiles did not believe in
God, and so were not the children of the Master's
But the poor woman said: "Truth, Lord; yet
the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their mas-
ter's table." When Jesus saw what faith she had
in Him, He said : "O woman, great is thy faith!
Be it unto thee as thou wilt." And when she
went home she found that her daughter was cured.
Is not this a beautiful example of Christ's love
and mercy? He was always glad to heal the sick
and comfort the sorrowing, and no matter how
hard He had been laboring in His work of teach-
ing the world and making people better and
happier, when the poor, unfortunate ones were
brought to Him, He was ready to give them of
His strength, and restore them to health again
through His divine power.
THE GOOD SAMARITAN
Christ often taught the people by telling them
stories which pointed out the right way to act.
These stories are called parables.
At one time when He was teaching, a lawyer
asked what he should do to gain eternal life. Jesus
asked him what was written in the law, meaning by
this, the law which Moses had given. The lawyer
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor
Jesus told him that he had given the right an-
swer, and that if he did all this, he should have
eternal life. But the lawyer was not satisfied, and
asked, "Who is my neighbor?"
Then Jesus gave the parable, or story, of the
Good Samaritan. The story was about a man who
went from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked
by thieves, who wounded him and took his clothing
from him, and then went away, leaving him nearly
After a while, as the poor man lay there, a priest
came along and looked at him. He passed by on
the other side, however, without offering his help,
or stopping to see whether the man would live or die.
Then a Levite, or assistant to the priest, came
to the place; but he also went by without doing
anything for the sufferer.
Then, at last, a Samaritan, who belonged to a
class of people not very well liked by the Jews,
came that way as he was journeying through the
country, and when he saw the man, he was sorry
for him; so he dismounted from his horse and went
up to him, and when he found how badly he was
hurt, he bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and
wine, as they did in those days, and tried to make
him as comfortable as possible.
Then he lifted the man upon his own horse and
held him there, walking on beside him, until they
came to an inn. The landlord came out, and they
took the poor man in and cared for him, doing
everything that could be done for him, and the next
day the Good Samaritan paid the inn-keeper for
what he had done, and told him to go on caring
for the sufferer until he was well, and that he him-
self would pay for that also.
"Which, now, of these three," Jesus asked,
when He had finished the story, "was neighbor
unto him that fell among thieves?"
"He that showed mercy on him," the lawyer
Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
This made the lawyer understand better, per-
haps, than a long sermon could have done, just what
was meant by the words of the old law, which he
had known all his life, but had thought very little
THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
" I am the Good
giveth His life
for the sheep."
of Palestine were
very wild and
lonely, and it was
hard to take care
of the sheep in
but the shep-
herds were usu-
ally brave and
faithful men, and often they lost their lives in car-
ing for their flocks, because they could not always
frighten away robbers and wolves.
Sometimes a little lamb strayed away from the
rest of the flock and got quite a distance from the
shepherd before it was missed; then he would have
to search for it and bring it back again.
When he started upon this search he would call
the little lamb by its name, very gently and lov-
ingly, because he did not wish to frighten it; and
he would go on and on, calling to it and looking
carefullv around until he found it; and then he
would take the little frightened creature up in his
arms and carry it back, while it nestled close to
him, so glad and happy to be safe again.
When little children wander out of the fold of
Jesus' love, He seeks them in just such a tender
and loving way, bringing them back carefully and
gently, and they are as glad to get back as the
little lambs were; for they are really Jesus' little
lambs, and their place is close to His side.
The Bible often speaks of God's people as sheep.
In one place it says, "For He is our God; and we
are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of
Again it says, "All we like sheep have gone
astray." And when Christ asks Peter if he loves
Him, and Peter replies, " Lord, Thou knowest all
things; Thou knowest that I love Thee," Jesus
says to him, "Feed My sheep." And He also says
to him, "Feed My lambs."
The Bible tells us, " He shall feed His flock like a
shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm,
and carry them in His bosom." How safe the
little lambs must be with such tender care as that.
One of the most beautiful of the Psalms of
David is the one beginning, "The Lord is my
shepherd; I shall not want." How much those
words mean! They mean that God will care for
His children as a good shepherd cares for his
flock, only the care will be better than that which
any human shepherd could give, because the Lord
is Infinite in power.
THE HOME THAT JESUS LOVED.
How sweet it must have been to have the friend-
ship of Jesus. Of course Jesus was a friend to
every one, and His life was spent in doing good,
even to those who hated Him. But to feel that
this great and holy Man was a friend in the human
meaning of the word — to be able to sit at His feet
i and talk to Him in
one's own home;
to wait upon Him
and think that He
could rest for a
little while beneath
one's own roof; to
have Him sitting
at your table, talk-
ing in His kind
and gentle way,
and to feel that He
i was a personal
friend, as your
earthly friends are
— this must have
been a most won-
*=^ derful experience.
Jesus was such a friend to Mary and Martha
and their brother Lazarus, and the little home in
Bethany, where these three lived, was one of the
dearest places in the world to Him. He went
there as frequently as His duties permitted, and
had many pleasant visits with His three friends,
who loved Him dearly and were always true to
Martha was the chief housekeeper. She was
very particular that everything should be done in
just the best manner; she was, perhaps, a little
over-particular in some ways, and occasionally
chided her sister Mary for not thinking enough
about material matters. She was, perhaps, afraid
also that Jesus would think they were not doing
enough in His honor; and so one day she said to
Him, "Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister
hath left me to serve alone? Bid her that she
But Jesus answered: "Martha, Martha, thou art
careful and troubled about many things; but one
thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good
part, which shall not be taken away from her."
He did not say this because He wished Martha
to have all the work to do, but because He did not
care to have them do so much for His physical
comfort. He knew that the important things of
life were the spiritual things, and was glad that
Mary had seen this.
But a great trouble came upon the little home
at Bethany. Lazarus, whom his sisters loved so
dearly and whom Jesus also loved like a brother,
was taken ill, and Martha and Mary sent this
word to Jesus: "Lord, he whom Thou lovest is
sick." They knew that Jesus healed the sick and
helped the suffering, and probably they sent this
word with perfect faith that their brother would be
at once restored to health. But this was not the
will of our Savior. He had a still greater work to
do for this simple family, in whose home He had
spent some of the most peaceful hours of His life,
and although they waited and looked for Him
anxiously, it was
two days before
He came to
In the mean- ^-7
died and Martha
and Mary were
But before Je-
sus had heard in
any way of the !|j
death of His
friend, He knew
that it had taken
place, and told
about it; and He
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she
went out to meet Him, and when she came up to
Him she said, "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my
brother had not died." Then Jesus said to her,
said that they would go to
THE PRODIGAL SON
"Thy brother shall rise again." But Martha
thought he meant at the final resurrection.
Alary, also, when she learned that Jesus was com-
ing, went out to Him weeping, and said as her
sister had said, "Lord, if Thou hadst been here,
my brother had not died."
Jesus was greatly moved when He saw her
grief and that of those who were with her, for many
friends had come to comfort the sisters in their sor-
row, and He asked to see Lazarus. When He
stood at the tomb, Jesus also wept, and the others
said, "Behold how He loved him!" But they
wondered that He could do so many miracles and
that He could not have prevented the death of His
friend. They did not understand that a greater
miracle than the healing of the sick was now to take
Jesus commanded them to roll away the stone
from the tomb, and when they had done so He
cried, " Lazarus, come forth!"
The people held their breath in awe, and their
hearts almost stopped beating for a moment, and
then Lazarus came out of his tomb. Axrer a mo-
ment of awe-struck silence, they crowded around
him rejoicing, and there were tears of love and
gratitude, while the hearts of all were filled with
amazement at this marvelous thing which our Lord
Many of the Jews who saw it believed on Him,
even though thev had doubted before; but others
tried to cause trouble, thinking that He would
make all the people love Him and believe that He
was the Lord; and they were afraid that this would
take away their own power. Then Caiaphas, who
was the high priest that year, prophesied that Jesus
should suffer death for the nation and should gather
the children of God together. So they began to
plan His death, and Jesus went away into another
country to escape them.
But just before the Feast of the Passover He
returned to Bethany, and they made a supper in
His honor. Lazarus, whom He had raised from
the dead, was there, and Martha served ; while Mary
took a pound of very costly ointment and put it
upon the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her long
hair, because she wanted so much to show her love
for Him and her gratitude.
Judas, that wicked ^disciple who afterwards gave
the Master up to His enemies, found fault with
what Mary had done, because he said the ointment
might have been sold and the money given to the
poor. He did not care at all for the poor, but he
carried the bag in which the collections were put
and thought he could take the money and use it
for himself. Jesus, however, would not let him
blame Mary. "The poor ye have always with
you," He said; "but Me ye have not always."
On the next day, when the people who had
gathered for the great feast at Jerusalem, heard that
Jesus was coming to the city, large numbers of
them gathered the branches of palm trees and
went out to meet Him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed
is the king of Israel that cometh in the name of the
And Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem,
the people throwing some of their garments as well
as the palm branches, across the way for Him to
pass over, and He taught them as He had so
often done; but He knew that the end of His life
was very near.
How hard it must have been for Him to go on
with His work, to accept the honors that were
showered upon Him with the same quiet, kingly
dignity which He had ever shown, realizing all the
time that the suffering which was to come would
be made the more bitter because of these demon-
strations of love and respect and reverence and
But it was a part of His mission to bear all the
humiliations which evil minds could devise, and
this present triumph would increase the weight
of the coming burden; so He accepted it, as He
accepted every incident of His experience, with
the gentle, enduring patience which was one of the
greatest proofs of His divinity, and He went on
with a steadfast and more than mortal strength,
toward the completion of His sublime destiny.
THE LOST SHEEP.
The parable, or story, of the Lost Sheep, is one
which Christ told to make the people understand
that God is always ready to receive back those of
His children who have strayed away from Him, if
only they are truly sorry and want to come back
and be forgiven.
Jesus said, "What man of you, having an hun-
dred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave
the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after
that which is lost, until he find it? And when he
hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, re-
joicing. And when he cometh home he calleth
together his friends and neighbors, saying unto
them, ' Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep
which was lost." And Jesus said that there was
more joy in Heaven over one repentant sinner than
over ninety-nine persons who had never done
wrong, and so had never been shut out from the
kingdom of Heaven.
How beautiful the thought of God's mercy is !
And it shows us that we have no right to judge
people, even if we know that they have sinned;
and we have no right to say that they cannot be
forgiven because they have been so bad, for Christ
tells us in this little story that if they repent, there
is rejoicing in Heaven.
THE PRODIGAL SON.
To teach the same lesson Jesus told the story
of the Prodigal Son. It is about a man who had
two sons, the younger of whom asked for his por-
tion of his father's property, and then went away
to another country and spent it all foolishly. After-
ward the young man saw how wicked his conduct
had been, and resolved to go home and ask to be
received back as a servant.
But when his father saw him, he came out to
meet him and took him in his arms and kissed him.
Then he made a great feast for him, killing the
fatted calf and doing everything he could to show
The elder brother thought this unfair; but the
father said to him, "Son, thou art ever with me,
and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we
should make merry and be glad; for this thy
brother was dead, and is alive again; and was
lost and is found."
These stories do not mean that God loves us
better if we do wrong, or that He approves of
wrong-doing, but that, if we truly repent of our
sins, even the angels rejoice to see that we wish to
serve God again and be His children, and they
are ready to welcome us back into His service.
CHRIST BLESSING LITTLE
The New Testament is full of the love of Christ
for His people. It is not just the prosperous and
happy that He loves, either; it is the weak and ill
and poor as well, those who are treated unkindly
and are not happy.
But more than all others, Christ seemed to love
the little children. Many of them were brought
to Him that He mi^ht take them in His arms and
bless them, and He was always glad to do this.
His disciples feared that it would annoy Him
to have so many people come with their children
when He was so busy with teaching and healing
the sick, and they told the crowds to stay away.
But Christ said, "Suffer the little children to come
unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the
kingdom of God."
He also said, "Verily I say unto you, Whoso-
ever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a
little child, he shall not enter therein." He meant
by this that every one must be pure of heart and
trust in God as little children do, in order to be
near God and in perfect sympathy with Him.
It is a beautiful thought that Christ watches
over the little children and takes care of them, and
that He knows every sorrow that comes to them
and is always ready to sympathize and help. He
blesses them now just as truly as when He was here
CHRIST IS RISEN.
The story of the life of Jesus is full of interest
from the beginning 1 to the end, but the closing
scenes of it are rich in strength and pathos. This
quiet and beautiful Soul, with the divinity of God
glowing through it, is the most wonderful and in-
which any hu-
man being can
: up. So
power of truth
and purity in it
that men who
have been un-
ended by ac-
as the Son of
God and the
the World, as well as the grandest and noblest man
who ever lived, and the one perfect example of the
life which God intended for His children.
All along during the years of His ministry and
while He was working and praying and suffering
for the people whom He loved, Jesus knew what the
end was to be — He knew that He must be perse-
cuted to the extent possible for evil minds to plan,
and that He must die a disgraceful death and be
buried as an imposter; but He knew also that fol-
lowing this shame and agony, would come the tri-
umph of truth, and the salvation of humanity.
With this knowledge and divine strength of soul,
which were His because He was the Son of God,
and with the human pity and understanding that
were His because of His human mother, He was
capable of a life and work which no other inheritance
could have made possible; and His mission was
carried out to grand completion, leaving a precious
heritage to the world for which He lived and died.
Christ foretold His death and resurrection more
than once before His disciples had any idea of
what was coming. He made His preparations for
leaving them and chose seventy more of His dis^
ciples, besides the twelve already mentioned, teach-
ing them in all things that they might go out into
the cities and villages and preach the gospel, also
healing the sick and comforting the sorrowful as He
When the time came for the feast of the Passover,
Jesus sent Peter and John into the city to prepare
a place in which they might celebrate it, and in the
evening He came with His Apostles and sat down
to the feast with them in the chamber where it had
been spread. There He taught them many things
which they understood after His death, although at
the time the meaning was not so plain, Jesus also
said that one who sat there with Him should betray
him. The apostles were very sorrowful when they
heard this, and wondered whom He could mean;
but they did not know
that He referred to Judas
After a time Judas
went out and left the
eleven with the Master,
who told them that they
would all forsake Him
that night; but Peter
said, "Lord, I will lay
down my life for Thy
sake." Probably Peter
fully meant what he said;
but Jesus knew how
weak human nature is,
and He answered,
"Verily, I say unto thee,
this night before the cock
crow, thou shalt deny
Peter was grieved at this, because he loved the
Master very dearly, and was really very faithful to
Him, and again he declared that although he should
die with Him he would not deny Him; the other
disciples said the same.
It was on this night that our Lord established
what is now known as the Lord's supper, the Sacra-
ment, the Holy Communion, or the Eucharist. He
took bread and gave thanks and broke it, and He
gave it to His disciples saying, " Take, eat, this is
My body which is broken for you; do this in re-
membrance of Me." Then He took the cup of un-
fermented wine and gave thanks again and gave it
to His discip-
les, telling them
to drink of it,
for He said,
"This is My
blood which is
shed for many
for the remis-
sion of sins
Drink it in re-
death the dis-
sacrament as all
Christians do down to the present time.
Before they left the house, Jesus spoke some
comforting words of hope and promise to the men
who loved Him so well, and then they went to the
Mount of Olives where the Garden of Gethsemane
was situated. There Jesus suffered great agony
of spirit, praying to God for strength to bear the
trial that He knew was close at hand; but His
disciples slept, for they did not understand what
To this garden Judas came, with a great crowd
of people, some of them armed men who were to
take Jesus prisoner. Judas had told them that he
would kiss the one whom they were to seize, and
when they had come near, he went up to Jesus and
kissed Him, saying, "Hail, Master!"
Then they took Him, and when one of His
disciples resisted them, Jesus reproved him, say-
ing, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My
Father, and He shall presently give Me more
than twelve leg-ions of angels? But how then
shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must
So Jesus allowed Himself to be led away to
Caiaphas, the high priest, and Peter followed at a
distance and sat among the servants of the high
priest when they had reached the palace, for he
was anxious to see how it would all end.
And while the high priest and those with him
were trying to prove Jesus guilty of some crime
which deserved death, some of the servants accused
Peter of being in His company, and he denied it,
for he was afraid. After he had denied three
times that he knew the Master, he heard the cock
crow, and remembering the words of Jesus, he
went out of the palace and wept. He still loved
the Man to whom he had proved unfaithful, but
he had not been able to stand up bravely in the face
of all those who were seeking the life of Jesus and
say that he believed in Him. Later, however,
Peter grew strong, and was ready to die for the
Master's cause; and after preaching faithfully and
suffering many hardships and a great deal of per-
secution for that cause,
he did finally die for it.
Jesus had no fear
of His enemies, who
could not make Him
say an unwise word.
He was taken before
Pontius Pilate, the
Roman governor, and
Herod, the governor
of Galilee, and both of
them questioned Him
closely. Herod even
tried to make Him
perform some miracle ;
but Jesus remained
silent and undemonstrative, and even when they
heaped indignities upon Him, He was calm and
kingly, with a strength that was the surest sign of
the divinity in Him.
At last He was sent back to Pilate again, and
because the chief priests and many of the most
powerful men demanded that He be crucified,
Pilate at last gave them permission to do as they
pleased. Then they took Him into a large hall
and put a crown of thorns upon His head and a
kingly robe upon Him, and they cried, "Hail,
King of the Jews!" and mocked Him.
At last they clothed Him in His own garments
once more and led
Him away to a
place called Cal-
vary, where they
But even in the
midst of His agony
upon the cross,
them, for they know
not what they do."
So was the mor-
tal life of our Sav-
ior given up for
the world that He
loved. Before He
died Jesus tenderly committed His mother to the
care of John, His beloved disciple, and from that
hour John looked upon her as his own mother,
and was always like a son to her.
There were earthquakes and many fearful sights
and sounds during the time that Jesus hung upon
the cross, and the wicked people were frightened,
as well they might have been, for it was plain that
He whom they had crucified was more than mortal.
After the death of the Savior, some of those who
loved Him took His body and tenderly prepared
it for burial; then they carried it to a new sepul-
chre where no one had ever before been buried,
and there they laid it.
But when they had buried the Master and
sealed the tomb, the grave could not hold Him,
On the third day He rose from the dead, as He
had promised, and many who loved Him saw
Him and knew that He was the Savior; while
others saw Him also, and admitted that He was
Jesus, who had been crucified. So the Scriptures
were fulfilled, and Christ's great triumph was
shown to the world; while the promise of eternal
life which he had brought was given new meaning
by His conquest of death.
THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT.
After His resurrection, Christ staid upon the
earth forty days, and more than five hundred of
His disciples saw Him during this time, recogniz-
ing and worshiping Him. He also made known
His divinity, saying, "All power is given to Me in
Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach
all nations, bap-
tizing them in the
name of the
Father and of the
Son and of the
teaching them to
observe all things
you; and lo, I am
with you alway,
even unto the end
of the world."
When the forty
days were ended
Jesus went from
Jerusalem with His apostles and led them to the
Mount of Olives. There He talked with them,
bidding them remain in Jerusalem until the Holy
Spirit should be sent to them.
And even as He was talking, they saw Him rise
from the earth, and He was taken up into Heaven
DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN
and passed out of their sight, while they stood there
upon the ground, wondering and believing.
Then angels came and told them that Jesus
should come again as they had seen Him pass from
them. When they heard this the apostles went
back to Jerusalem rejoicing, and they were often in
the temple, where they gave thanks to God and
praised Him for His great mercy and the revelation
of His love which He had sent to the world.
The Holy Spirit came to them, as Jesus had
promised, and they were able to do wonderful things
in the name of the Lord. They were not afraid of
any evil that might befall them, for the strength
of God was in their hearts, "And they went forth,
and preached everywhere, the Lord working with
THE APOSTLE PAUL.
Before his conversion to the faith of Christ, Paul
was called Saul, and he persecuted the Christians,
believing that they- were doing wickedly and that
he ought to punish them for it.
But while he was in the midst of these persecu-
s tions, and as he
cus one day, he
saw suddenly at
noon-time, a light
shining in the
was greater than
the light of the
sun, and he and
all that were with
him fell to the
earth in wonder
and awe. Then
Saul heard a
voice speaking to
him and saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest
thou Me?" And Saul said, "Who art Thou,
Lord?" And the voice answered, "I am Jesus,
whom thou persecutest."
Then Saul was instructed as to what he was to
do, and was told that he would become a minister
of Christ. From that time Paul preached and
taught the Christian religion, and converted many-
people to it.
"But he was persecuted in his new work as he
had persecuted others, being finally taken prisoner
and threatened with scourging; he declared himself
a Roman citizen, however, and therefore safe from
such treatment, and went on openly confessing his
faith and telling of his conversion, and he appealed
for protection to the Roman emperor.
He was then put on board a ship as a prisoner
to be taken to Rome. While they were at sea a
violent storm came up, and Paul warned the sailors
that they were in great danger ; but they would not
listen to him. At last the ship was wrecked, all
on board being cast ashore upon an island, whither
they had been carried, clinging to boards and
broken pieces of the ship.
The barbarous people of the island treated them
kindly, building a fire that they might dry their
clothing and get warm; for it was cold and they
were, of course, drenched.
The men were very glad to be safe once more;
but a strange thing happened after a little: Paul
gathered up an armful of sticks to put upon the
fire, and as he placed them upon the flames, a
viper, which is a kind of poisonous snake, came
out of the bundle and clung to his hand; he
shook it off into the fire, however, without the
slightest sign of fear.
Those who were about him thought that the
hand would swell and that Paul would die from
the effects of the bite, and they watched him
closely, believing that this trouble was sent to him
as a punishment for his sins. But no evil results
came from the wound, and then the barbarians
thought he was a god and looked upon him with
Paul and the men who were with him remained
upon the island for three months. At the end of
that time they went away in a ship, finally reaching
Rome, where the prisoners were given up to the
authorities; but Paul was allowed to live by him-
self, with only a soldier to guard him, and after
a while he called the chief men of the Jews
together and told them why he was there and
preached to them the Word of God. His preach-
ing was received by some with faith, but others
did not believe.
Paul went on preaching and teaching in Rome
for two years, living in a house which he hired,
and he brought many to Jesus. He was a man of
excellent education and a powerful preacher. His
in the Bible, are
full of power and
the fire of con-
viction, and he
did a wonder-
ful work for the
great cause in
which he believed
with all his heart.
Paul was phys-
ically small and
mentally he was
a giant. He had
been taught the
knowledge of the
Romans, and was therefore well fitted to take up
this new cause in a manner which would appeal to
educated people as well as to those who had no
From the time of his conversion until his death
he labored faithfully in the ministry of Christ, fear-
ing no persecution or hardship when he could do
the Master's bidding and teach His holy will. The
work which he did was a wonderful work, and his
influence in the Christian world has been a very
remarkable one. Brave, untiring, devoted to the
cause of Christ, he at last lost his life in that cause,
adding another to the list of martyrs whose mem-
ory the world loves and reveres.
The story of Paul's experiences reads like those
tales of adventure which are so full of absorbing
interest that when once they have been taken up,
we do not feel like laying them down again until
they are finished.
This is true also of many others of the Bible
stories, and great authors have taken their themes
from them for the writing of books which have
The more we study the Bible, the more wonder-
ful it becomes, and the more we learn that in that
marvelous book are set forth nearly all the experi-
ences of which human life is capable, with the
teaching which each of these experiences should
bring and the lesson to be learned by the reading
of them. In all the world there is not another
collection so wonderful as this.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
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